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OUTLINE OF EZEKIEL 16
An Allegory of Unfaithful Jerusalem (NIV)
God's Unfaithful Bride (NET)
God's Grace to Unfaithful Jerusalem (NASB)
Jerusalem the Unfaithful (Good News Bible)
Loving kindnesses to
Unfaithful Jerusalem's Harlotry
||God's Judgment on
||Sodom & Samaria Will be
Restored (53-58) (GNB)
Jerusalem Will Be Ashamed (53-58) (CEV)
Covenant that Lasts Forever (59-63) (GNB)
Ezekiel 16:15 But you
trusted in your
because of your
fame, and you
poured out your
passer-by who might be willing
Amplified: But you trusted in and relied on your own beauty and were unfaithful to God
and played the harlot [in idolatry] because of your renown, and you poured out
your fornications upon anyone who passed by [as you worshiped the idols of every
nation which prevailed over you] and your beauty was his. (Amplified
Bible - Lockman)
But you trusted in your beauty
Mt 3:9) (See Torrey's Topic
Ingratitude to God)
What was the root
(problem) which led to the abominable conduct of harlotry? Israel
trusted in her beauty and her fame. In sum, she became proud.
They did not trust God but in what He had by grace made them. Pride preceded
their fall as it always does.
Solomon (who sadly seemed to
fall prey to this root sin also) wrote
pride (arrogance, insolence, presumption, an attitude of the
heart which deceives the one who is proud) comes, then comes dishonor
(confusion, ignominy, reproach, shame), but with the humble
(modest, showing lack of pretentiousness) is wisdom (ability to see
something from God’s viewpoint). (Pr 11:2)
He also wrote that
Pride (arrogance as overbearing conceit,
or the boastful assertion of more than one has a right to) goes before
destruction, and a haughty (viewing one as having "high" or
majestic status) spirit before stumbling (tottering, calamity,
disaster). (Pr 16:18)
pride (arrogance, haughtiness, highness, swelling) will
bring him low, but a humble spirit will obtain honor. (Pr 29:23)
the harlot because of your fame (Ezekiel
The Treasury of
Scriptural Knowledge note on this verse says that...
Raised from the most abject state to
dignity and splendour by Jehovah, Israel became proud of her numbers,
riches, strength, and reputation, forgetting that it was "through his
comeliness which He had put upon them;" and thus departing from God, made
alliances with heathen nations, and worshipped their idols. (Comment:
Anything and everything we have that is good is from the Father of lights
and it behooves all God's children to frequently recall this truth to mind,
lest we begin to think that it is because of our efforts alone that success
or wealth have come our way! Ingratitude is sin. We need to constantly
recall that God provides all we need for life and godliness [see note
2 Peter 1:3].
We sin against Him when we take His gifts and prostitute them to serve
purposes other than His. Our beauty, fame, fortune, skills are all His
gracious gifts to us. When we use them selfishly to attract other people
whose favors we desire, we sin. When we use them to buy protection from
other powers, we sin. When we use them to pay homage to anyone or thing
besides God, we sin just as surely as did Israel in the Old Testament.)
reminds that we are to...
Do homage to the Son, lest He become
angry, and you perish in the way,for His wrath may soon be kindled. How
blessed are all who take refuge in Him! (Ps 2:12)
and you poured out your harlotries
on every passer-by who might be willing
On every passer-by - The
Amplified version explains this as..."as you worshiped the idols of every
nation which prevailed over you".
Years prior to Ezekiel's words, Moses
had written prophetically of Israel's behavior declaring...
But Jeshurun ("the upright one", used
ironically here as a reference to unrighteous Israel!) grew fat and kicked--
You are grown fat, thick, and sleek-- Then he forsook God who made him, and
scorned the Rock of his salvation. 16 "They made Him jealous with strange
gods; With abominations they provoked Him to anger. 17 "They sacrificed to
demons (see Ps 106:37, 1Cor 10:20) who were not God, to gods whom they have
not known, New gods who came lately, Whom your fathers did not dread. 18
"You neglected the Rock who begot you, And forgot the God who gave you
birth. (Deut 32:15-18) (Comment: Notice in verse 18 God is described
figuratively as both father - begot you - and mother - gave birth
to you -- which makes the Chosen nation of Israel's flagrant spiritual
adultery all the more reprehensible. Hosea 1-2 is a clear parallel to
In Isaiah God
describes Jerusalem declaring
How the faithful city has become a harlot,
she who was full of justice! Righteousness once lodged in her, but now
murderers." (Isaiah 1:21)
Notice how pride was singled out as the root of Sodom’s sin when her
abominations were traced to their source. God had blessed her abundantly
with fullness of bread (Ge13:10), but she monopolized these blessings for
her own pleasures and basked in prosperous ease. Provision for her own needs
made her insensible to the needs of others; she had no social conscience.
Then she committed the abominations and enormities which are linked
inseparably with her name. God took her away with a final blow when He saw
it " (Feinberg "Ezekiel")
some of your
made for yourself
harlot on them, which should
You took some of your clothing and made for yourself decorated high places;
you engaged in prostitution on them. You went to him to become his.
you took some of your clothes, made for yourself high places of various
colors, and played the harlot on them, which should never come about nor
2 Ki 23:7;
had recorded that...
they transformed the beauty of His
ornaments into pride, and they made the images of their abominations and
their detestable things with it; therefore I will make it an abhorrent thing
to them. (see note
After King Josiah
discovered the book of the Law which has been lost in the house of God he
experienced personal revival and he carried out numerous acts to cleanse the
He also broke down the houses of the male
cult prostitutes which were in the house of the LORD, where the women were
weaving hangings for the Asherah. (2Kings 23:7)
High places (01116)
which is used literally in
Study the uses of bamah in
were associated with at least six activities--the burning of incense (Jer
the eating of sacrificial meals, praying, prostitution, and child sacrifice
consisted of several basic elements: an altar for offering sacrifices
usually built of stone or mud brick, a wooden pole to represent the female
goddess of fertility called Asherah, at least one stone pillar called a
maššebâ to represent the male deity Baal and a smaller incense altar with a
tent for use in eating sacrificial meals, practicing sacred prostitution (1Ki
and storage of cultic vessels.
The sad refrain which is repeated over and over in 2 Kings is
only the high places were not taken away
for all 7 occurrences of this phrase in OT) so that these sites
of spiritual harlotry and spiritual adultery continued to be a snare for
Israel all her days until God says here in Ezekiel in essence "enough is
If Israel and Judah would not destroy the high places, the high places would
destroy them and God Himself would destroy the high places!
During the period of the Judges the Israelites adopted the Canaanite custom
of offering sacrifices at
These were on hilltops and other elevations. The pagan Canaanites felt that
the closer they got to heaven the more likely was the possibility that their
prayers and offerings would reach their gods. Offering sacrifices at places
other than the tabernacle was prohibited in the Law (Lev
Nevertheless this practice was commonly observed in Israel at this time,
even by Solomon. Even Solomon fell prey to these evil places for Scripture
Now Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of his father David,
he sacrificed and burned incense on the
And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the
great high place;
(the tabernacle was there so this was not inappropriate but note the
preceding verse = "high places" plural!) Solomon offered a thousand burnt
offerings on that altar." (1Ki
This weak point of Solomon's for
was exploited (and exploded) in
King Solomon loved many foreign women...from the nations concerning which
the LORD had said to the sons of Israel, "You shall not associate with them,
neither shall they associate with you, for they will surely turn your heart
away after their gods." Solomon held fast to these in love...and his wives
turned his heart away...after other gods and his heart was not wholly
devoted to the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father had been for
Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians and after Milcom
the detestable idol of the Ammonites and Solomon did what was evil in the
sight of the LORD, and did not follow the LORD fully, as David his father
had done. Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the detestable idol of
Moab (associated with sacrifice of children as a burnt offering!), on the
mountain which is east of Jerusalem, and for Molech the detestable idol
of the sons of Ammon (also associated with sacrifice of children). (1Ki
Thus also he did for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and
sacrificed to their gods. Now the LORD was angry with Solomon because his
heart was turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, who had appeared to
him twice, and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not
go after other gods; but he did not observe what the LORD had commanded." (1Kings
Then some 300 years later (ca 621BC) godly King Josiah's reform (which
obviously was only transient as shown by resurgence of high places within
less than 30 years) after reading the book of the Law included the
the high places
which were before (east of) Jerusalem, which were on the right of (south of)
the mount of destruction (of corruption ~ the Mt of Olives!) which
Solomon the king of Israel had built for Ashtoreth the abomination of the
Sidonians, and for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, and for Milcom (Molech)
the abomination of the sons of Ammon." (2Ki
During the reign of Jeroboam, the wicked king of the northern kingdom of
Israel, was offering incense at the altar in Bethel and God sent His man
from Judah to denounce the idolatrous altar, predicting that a king named
Josiah would arise in Judah and would burn the idolatrous priests on the
altar. The man of God cried out
against the altar by the word of the LORD, and said, "O altar, altar, thus
says the LORD, 'Behold, a son shall be born to the house of David, Josiah by
name; and on you he shall sacrifice the priests of the
who burn incense on you, and human bones shall be burned on you.'"
Over 300 years later Josiah fulfilled this prophecy to the letter, coming to
the altar that was at Bethel and the
which Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel sin, had made, even that
altar and the high place he broke down. Then he demolished its stones,
ground them to dust, and burned the Asherah. Now when Josiah turned, he saw
the graves that were there on the mountain, and he sent and took the bones
from the graves and burned them on the altar and defiled it according
to the word of the LORD which the man of God proclaimed, who proclaimed
these things." (2Ki
Whose life are you emulating...King Solomon or King Josiah?
Do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey its lusts, and
do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of
unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead,
and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not
be master over you, for you are not under law, but under grace." (see
What are the
in your life that you have refused to destroy because you like the wisest
man that ever lived, King Solomon, have made them an "exception clause" and
you have underestimated the deceptive power of sin (see note
Be assured that God reads the "fine print" and He desires that we be wholly
holy as He is holy.
Will take you farther than you ever meant to stray
Keep you longer than you ever meant to stay &
Cost you more than you ever thought you'd have to pay!
16:17 You also
jewels made of My
gold and of My
which I had
given you, and
made for yourself
images that you might
harlot with them.
Amplified: You did also
take your fair jewels and beautiful vessels of My gold and My silver which I
had given you and made for yourself images of men, and you played the harlot
with them (Amplified
Bible - Lockman)
NLT: You took the very jewels and gold and silver ornaments I had given
you and made statues of men and worshiped them, which is adultery against
- Tyndale House)
also took your beautiful jewels...and made...images (Ezekiel
In a similar passage
in Hosea we read...
For she does not know that it was I who
gave her the grain, the new wine, and the oil, And lavished on her silver
and gold, Which they used for Baal. (Hosea 2:8)
Might play the
harlot with them (the images of men) -
It was wickedly ironic that the people
used God’s gifts to build shrines and make idols of gods that were
nonexistent. They took fine jewelry and constructed male idols and engaged
in ritual sex as part of the fertility cult (Cooper, L. E. Vol. 17:
Ezekiel The New American Commentary. Nashville: Broadman & Holman
agrees that this phrase is to be taken literally writing that...
The people evidently
even made phallic images out of God’s gifts with which they engaged in sex (Expository Notes in Pdf format)
16:18 Then you
covered them, and
oil and My
you took your embroidered cloth and covered them, and offered My oil and My
incense before them
If you are a man and
married, as God was to Israel, you can understand how flagrant and brazen
were Israel's actions. Surely this speaks of the longsuffering of God to
hold back His hand of wrath in the face of such bold faced actions against
His holiness and His covenant.
honey with which I
fed you, you would
before them for a
aroma; so it
Also My bread
which I gave you, fine flour, oil, and honey with which I fed you, you would offer before them for a soothing aroma; so it
happened," declares the Lord GOD.
bread which I gave you...which I fed you (13;
Ho 2:8-13) - God reminds Israel of how He
repeatedly demonstrated His favor upon them.
aroma - The ultimate perversion of God's gift -- offering it to
idols. There is a touch of sarcasm in the descriptive word "soothing"
(sweet, pleasant, pleasing, delightful). This word was first used in to
describe the offering of Noah after the flood abated...
And the LORD smelled the soothing aroma;
and the LORD said to Himself, "I will never again curse the ground on
account of man, for the intent of man's heart is evil from his youth; and I
will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done. (Ge 8:21)
(Comment: That which had been a sweet savor to God now had the stench
of sinful sacrifices!)
16:20 Moreover, you
whom you had
borne to Me and
sacrificed them to idols to be
devoured. Were your
small a matter?
Then you took your sons and daughters—the children you had borne to me—and
sacrificed them to your gods. Was it not enough that you should be a
- Tyndale House)
you took your sons and daughters
whom you had borne to Me and you
sacrificed them to idols
2 Ki 16:3;
Micah 6:7) (Ezekiel
Had borne to Me
- Notice who the children really belonged to! They took what belonged to God
and offered them up as human sacrifices! This is God's chosen people
beloved. Be careful when you begin to drift into the path of sin for
it will take you a far greater distance into the darkness than you would
have ever dreamed possible!
This horrible sin is
repeated alluded to in Ezekiel (Ezekiel
God had specifically
and emphatically forbidden this practice Moses recording...
You shall not behave thus toward the LORD
your God, for every abominable act which the LORD hates they have done for
their gods; for they even burn their sons and daughters in the fire to their
gods. (Deut 12:31)
There shall not be found among you anyone
who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses
divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a
sorcerer (Deut 18:10)
addresses this heinous sin...
And they have built the high places of
Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and
their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, and it did not come
into My mind. (Jer 7:31)
And they built the high places of Baal
that are in the valley of Ben-hinnom to cause their sons and their daughters
to pass through the fire to Molech, which I had not commanded them nor had
it entered My mind that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to
sin. (Jer 32:35)
America guilty of a similar evil today in regard to legalization of
abortion? You be the judge. And as you contemplate your answer, think too
about to Whom these little creations had been borne?
Were your harlotries so small a
matter? Clearly a rhetorical question -- For obviously their
harlotries were quite the opposite of a "small matter" with God!
offered them up to idols by causing them to
through the fire. (NASB:
slaughtered My children, and offered them up to idols
causing them to pass through the
Version renders this verse as a question that began at the end of verse
20 Were your harlotries too little, 21
That you have slain My children and delivered them up, in setting them apart
and causing them to pass through the fire for [your idols]?
Version is similar...
20 Wasn't it bad enough to be unfaithful
to me, 21 without taking my children and sacrificing them to idols?
My children -
God is the Creator and ultimately they were His children that were being
killed and burned.
They even sacrificed their sons and their
daughters to the demons, and shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons
and their daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan; and the
land was polluted (defiled, corrupted, profaned) with the blood. (Psalm
To pass through the
fire - Moses records...
Neither shall you give any of your
offspring to offer them to Molech, nor shall you profane the name of your
God; I am the LORD. (Lev 18;21)
harlotries you did not
days of your
youth, when you were
squirming in your
besides all your abominations and harlotries you did not remember the days
of your youth, when you were naked and bare and squirming in your blood. (Ezekiel
abominations - It is notable that of the 117 uses of abominations
41 of the uses (click
for these verses) are in
Ezekiel, by far the greatest frequency in the entire Old Testament!
You did not
remember the days of your youth - God had preserved Jacob's family
through the years of severe family by taking them to Egypt where He
prospered them until they became a threat to the new pharaoh. And then God
delivered them from bondage and cared for them in the frightening
wilderness, providing for their every need. And yet Israel had grown fat and
forgetful. What were those first days like when you came to Christ and
received His gift of salvation? What has happened over the years since that
time? Have you failed to remember the joy and amazement that He choose to
save a wretch such as you? Have you become complacent and comfortable in
your Christianity, going through the motions but without the emotion and
profound sense of gratitude you experienced when He first saved you out of
the miry clay? Take some time to remember, so that you don't fall into the
trap of forgetfulness which breeds ingratitude at best and can lead to
flagrant sin at worst.
The basic cause behind all the evil
excesses presented in Ezekiel 16:22 was neglect of the covenant. They did
not remember the days of their youth. They forgot God in the sense that
he made no difference in their daily lives. They were practical atheists,
professing to worship Yahweh along with other gods but failing to believe
and obey his word. (Cooper, L. E. Vol. 17: Ezekiel The New American
Commentary. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers)
16:24 that you
built yourself a
made yourself a
Amplified: You have built
also for yourself a vaulted chamber (brothel) and have made a high place [of
idol worship] in every street.
Brenton: that thou didst build thyself a house of fornication, and didst
make thyself a public place in every street; (English translation of the
Darby: that thou didst also build unto thee a place of
debauchery, and didst make thee a high place in every street:
NIV: you built a mound for yourself and made a lofty shrine in every
NKJV: that you also built for yourself a shrine, and made a high
place for yourself in every street.
TEV: by the side of every road you built places to worship idols and
that you built
yourself a shrine and made yourself a high place in every square (Ezek
2 Ki 21:3-7;
2 Chr 33:3-7) (Lev 26:30;
writes that the Hebrew word for shrine refers to a...
So my old Masoretic (text) Bible, a bordel (Ed note = brothel) house...
Diodati translates, Tu hai edificato un bordello, "Thou hast built a
brothel." Houses of this kind were of a very ancient date. (Clarke's
Recall that a
brothel is a house or other place where men pay to have sexual
intercourse with prostitutes.
A number of the
translations (see several recorded above) pick up this same idea in
translating (or paraphrasing) the Hebrew as a brothel or house of
Three times in Ezekiel 16:24,
Judah is condemned for building for herself, in the fashion of a harlot, a
“vaulted chamber” (Hebrew = gab) (KJV “eminent place”) and a lofty place
(rāmâ = high place). This (referring to the Hebrew word "gab") may be a
reference to an artificially constructed hill on which illegal cultic acts
were performed (perhaps a word play between rāmâ and bāmâ [bama = another
word translated high place]). Thus the
translates gab here as oikēma
pornikon “brothels.” (brothel = a house or other place where men
pay to have sexual intercourse with prostitutes)
built yourself a
place at the
abominable, and you
Amplified: At every
crossway you built your high place [for idol worship] and have made your
beauty an abomination [abhorrent, loathsome, extremely disgusting, and
detestable]; and you have made your body available to every passerby and
multiplied your [idolatry and spiritual] harlotry.
NJB: At the entry to every alley you made yourself a high
place, defiling your beauty and opening your legs to all comers in countless
acts of fornication
NCV: You built a place of worship at the beginning of every street.
You made your beauty hateful, offering your body for sex to anyone who
passed by, so your sexual sins became worse and worse.
NLT: On every street corner you defiled your beauty, offering your
body to every passerby in an endless stream of prostitution.
TEV: You dragged your beauty through the mud. You offered yourself to
everyone who came by, and you were more of a prostitute every day.
Young's Literal: At every head of the way thou hast built thy high
place, And thou dost make thy beauty abominable, And dost open wide thy feet
to every passer by, And dost multiply thy whoredoms,
You built yourself a high place at
the top of every street
your beauty abominable (Ezek
Rev 17:1-5,12,13,16) Judah had perverted
that which was intended by God to0 be lovely (beautiful) to instead
become loathsome! Israel who was to be a lovely lighthouse became a
licentious lover of idols! She had become a vessel of dishonor, profane,
useless to the Master and prepared for destruction!
One is reminded of
Paul's wise warning to young Timothy to remember that...
in a large house there are not only gold
and silver vessels, but also vessels of wood and of earthenware, and some to
honor and some to dishonor. Therefore, if a man cleanses himself from these
things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master,
prepared for every good work. Now flee from youthful lusts, and pursue
righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a
pure heart. (See notes
2 Timothy 2:20;
D. L. Moody said that...
God doesn't seek for golden vessels,
and does not ask for silver ones, but He must have clean ones.
Wesley once wrote...
Lord, let me not live to be useless.
and you spread
your legs to every passer-by to multiply your harlotry
This vile verse needs little amplification.
Remember this is God's very own and very accurate assessment of the real
spiritual condition of Judah's heart disease!
And so Judah is a picture of the essence
of licentiousness -- that undisciplined and unrestrained sexual
behavior which flagrantly disregards all restraints of decency and propriety
harlotry - Believers, beware because sin is not just additive (and
addictive) but pursues a dark downward spiral, as one sin gives birth to
other sins, multiplying the "offspring" so to speak. The end is death!
16:26 You also
harlot with the
You have also played the harlot with the Egyptians, your neighbors, [by
adopting their idolatries] whose worship is thoroughly sensuous, and you
have multiplied your harlotry to provoke Me to anger. (Amplified
Bible - Lockman)
Brenton: And thou didst go a-whoring (indulge in flagrant immorality)
after the children of Egypt thy neighbors, great of flesh; and didst go
a-whoring, often to provoke me to anger. (Translation of the Greek
NIV: You engaged in prostitution with the Egyptians, your lustful
neighbors, and provoked me to anger with your increasing promiscuity. (NIV
NLT: Then you added lustful Egypt to your lovers, fanning the flames
of my anger with your increasing promiscuity. (NLT
- Tyndale House)
Young's Literal: And dost go a-whoring unto sons of Egypt, Thy
neighbours -- great of appetite! And thou dost multiply thy whoredoms, To
provoke Me to anger.
also played the harlot with the Egyptians your lustful neighbors
and multiplied your harlotry to make Me angry. (Ezek
Played the harlot
- KJV is more direct - "committed fornication"! How so? By adopting the
idolatrous practices of the godless pagans.
With the Egyptians
- Cooper observes that Judah...
They placed hope for present and future
security on alliances with idolatrous neighbors who further prostituted the
nation. Ezekiel mentioned specifically Egypt (v. 26) and Assyria
(v. 28), who captured some of Judah’s territory in Sennacherib’s invasion in
701 b.c., and Babylon (v. 29). The people’s conduct was so depraved
that even the Philistines, noted for their debauchery, were “shocked”
by their lewd conduct (v. 27). (Cooper, L. E. Vol. 17: Ezekiel The New
American Commentary. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers)
(basar) has the basic sense of literal flesh but here refers to the
sinful and sensuous behavior that characterized pagan idol worship.
Version renders says "worship is thoroughly sensuous".
Behold now, I have
stretched out My
against you and
rations. And I
delivered you up to the
desire of those who
hate you, the
daughters of the
Philistines, who are
ashamed of your
have stretched out My hand against you (Ezekiel
your rations (Dt 28:48-57;
Hos 2:9-12) - Amplified renders it
"ordinary allowance of food".
rendering suggests instead of diminished...rations Judah's
territory was diminished...
So I stretched out my hand against you
and reduced your territory
delivered you up to the desire of those who hate you (Ezekiel
Delivered up is
translated by the with the Greek verb paradidomi, which Paul uses
three times in Romans 1 to describe the pattern of divine retribution in
which God gives idolatrous men and women over to the lusts of their own
22 Professing to be wise, they became
23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form
of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling
24 Therefore God gave them over (paradidomi) in the lusts of their
hearts to impurity, that their bodies might be dishonored among them.
25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served
the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
26 For this reason God gave them over (paradidomi) to degrading
passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is
27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the
woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing
indecent acts and receiving
in their own persons the due penalty of their error.
28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God
gave them over (paradidomi) to a depraved mind, to do those things
which are not proper (See notes
the daughters of the Philistines
Isa 9:12) - The Philistines were Israel's
implacable adversaries. It is dangerous to continue in sin, lest God finally
determine to deliver us over to that sin.
A similar idea had
been voiced by God earlier when He declared that...
she (Judah) has rebelled against My
ordinances more wickedly than the nations and against My statutes more than
the lands which surround her; for they have rejected My ordinances and have
not walked in My statutes. Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD, 'Because you
have more turmoil than the nations which surround you, and have not walked
in My statutes, nor observed My ordinances, nor observed the ordinances of
the nations which surround you,' (see notes
In a parallel passage
in Amos we read...
Proclaim on the citadels in
and on the citadels in the
land of Egypt and say, "Assemble yourselves on the mountains of Samaria and
see the great tumults within her and
the oppressions in her midst. "But they (Israel) do not know how to
do what is right," declares the LORD, "these who hoard up violence and
devastation in their citadels." (Amos 3:9-10)
who are ashamed of your lewd conduct
- "who were shocked by your lewd conduct" (NIV)
The Amplified version renders
who turned away in shame from your
despicable policy and lewd behavior [for they are faithful to their gods]!)
(zimmah) refers to the plans and purposes of the mind which give rise
to one’s actions and almost always has a negative connotation referring to
what is evil. To reiterate, although conveying the idea of evil or
wickedness (in this context lewdness), it tends to focus on the thought
processes that plots the wickedness. The implication is that their evil
behavior was presumptuously premeditated.
translates zimmah with the verb asebeo which means to violate
the norms of a proper or professed relation to deity and so to act
impiously. Asebeo describes one as living without regard for religion
either in belief or in practice and so to be ungodly, to live wickedly and
to act profanely (see NT use of related word asebeo in note on
2 Peter 2:6);
the only NT use of asebeo is in Jude 1:15 ("deeds which they have done in
an ungodly way")
16:29 You also
harlotry with the
this you were not
also multiplied your harlotry with the land of merchants, Chaldea
satisfied - "addition" could not satisfy so they resorted to
"multiplication" with the same result - "I can't get no...satisfaction" - a
refrain made famous by that great "theological" group The Rolling Stones!
- The other name for Babylon.
Dr Charles Dyer
in the The Bible Knowledge Commentary labels Jerusalem the equivalent of...
...a spiritual nymphomaniac. She had even
resorted to paying bribes (rather than receiving a fee) to get the attention
that earlier had been lavishly bestowed on her. Such a reversal was
remarkably unusual, thus showing her debased commitment to idolatry and
foreign alliances. As she departed from God, He then withheld His blessings
that He had so freely given (cf. Deut. 28:15-23). Instead of realizing her
sin and returning to the true God, she sought out still more gods and
offered larger ”bribes“ to induce these other gods to bless her. Jerusalem
was squandering her wealth on things that could not bless. (Walvoord,
J. F., Zuck, R. B., et al: The Bible Knowledge Commentary. 1985. Victor
languishing is your
GOD, "while you
actions of a
Amplified: How weak and spent with longing and lust is your heart and
mind, says the Lord God, seeing you do all these things, the work of a bold,
domineering harlot (Amplified
Bible - Lockman)
Net Bible: How sick is your heart, declares the sovereign Lord, when
you perform all of these acts, the deeds of a bold prostitute
How languishing is your heart
sick, feeble, having reached a state of exhaustion or extremity.
Jehovah God uses another metaphor to describe Israel's
spiritually sick heart declaring...
Be appalled, O heavens, at this, And
shudder, be very desolate," declares the LORD. For My people have committed
two evils: They have forsaken Me, The fountain of living waters, To hew for
themselves cisterns, Broken cisterns, That can hold no water. (Jeremiah
2:12-13) (Ryrie comments that "Ancient landowners would dig
cisterns to collect the rainwater. To insure that the cistern would hold
water, the landowner plastered it inside with lime. Often cracks would
develop and the water would leak out. In like manner Israel had abandoned
Yahweh, the "fountain of life" or "fountain of living waters" [cf. Ps. 36:9;
Prov. 13:14; 16:22; Isa. 55:1; John 4:10-14; 7:37-39] for man-made powerless
gods. They had committed two "evils": they had forsaken Yahweh, and they had
tried to improve upon Him.") (The
Ryrie Study Bible: New American Standard Translation: 1995. Moody Publishers)
actions of a bold-faced harlot (Jdg 16:15,16;
Rev 17:1-6) - The
translates bold faced with the Greek word trissos meaning three fold degree
shrine at the
money, you were not like a
In that you build your vaulted place (brothel) at the head of every street
and make your high place at every crossing. But you were not like a harlot
because you scorned pay
ESV: building your vaulted chamber at the head of every street, and
making your lofty place in every square. Yet you were not like a prostitute,
because you scorned payment.
the beginning of every street (Hos 12:11)
This verse emphasizes the widespread nature of Judah's idolatrous practices.
disdaining money you were not like a harlot (Ezek
(qalas) means Judah mocked, ridiculed, disparaged, scoffed or scorned
the thought of any payment for her blatant harlotry.
Net Bible Note
states that the Hebrew term for money (0868)
which also occurs in
Ezekiel 16:34 and
Ezekiel 16:41... always refers to the payment of a prostitute (Deut
The New Living
Translation brings out this idea more vividly rendering it...
so eager for sin that you have not even
demanded payment for your love! (NLT
- Tyndale House)
Message is a bit strong...
You built your bold brothels at every
major intersection, opened up your whorehouses in every neighborhood, but
you were different from regular whores in that you wouldn't accept a fee.
The point in this
verse and the next two is that when a whore is solicited and paid for
immorality, that practice is evil enough. But such evil was not sufficient
to satisfy the lusts of Israel for she solicited and even paid her idol
Literally what this
payment refers to in part is the tribute Israel had to pay to the godless
instead of her
Amplified: Rather, you
were as an adulterous wife who receives strangers instead of her husband!
Bible - Lockman)
wife, who prefers strangers instead of her own husband!
adulteress wife, who takes strangers instead of her husband! (Ezek
2 Co 11:2,3)
Here we see another
manifestation of Judah's deceived, hard heart, hardened by repeated
rebellion and refusal to hearken to the voice of her Creator and submit to
the good and acceptable and perfect will of her loving Husband.
up this section writing that...
All her brazen adulteries had left
Jerusalem with a sick heart; she could no longer feel true love. She was
worse than a common prostitute in that she practiced adultery not because
she needed money from her lovers but simply because it made her feel good.
She took strangers to bed with her instead of her husband. She even gave
gifts to her lovers to bribe them to come to her (paying tribute to make
alliances) rather giving them what they wanted in payment for the bribes
they would normally have offered her. Her adulteries were worse than those
of common prostitutes in that she paid her lovers rather than receiving
payment from them (Hos. 8:9). (Expository Notes in Pdf format)
16:34 Thus you are
different from those
women in your
harlotries, in that
harlot as you do, because you
given you; thus you are
You were different from other prostitutes because no one solicited you. When
you gave payment and no payment was given to you, you became the opposite!
Cooper sums up
this chapter noting that...
Ezekiel enumerated at least eight reasons
for the exile: pride (Ezek 16:15), spiritual prostitution (Ezek 16:15-19),
materialistic idolatry (Ezek 16:16-19), human sacrifices (Ezek 16:20-21),
forgetting God (Ezek 16:22), propagating her prostitution (Ezek 16:23-25),
trusting relations with pagan nations (Ezek 16:26-29), and a weak will that
cast off all moral restraints (Ezek 16:30-34). (New American Commentary
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